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Fiber-Ready Van Rolls from AV to Emergency Response

A fiber optic-ready mobile production van began crisscrossing the eastern United States on a 25-city tour this month, rolling from live production in Georgia and heading straight into the March 24 – 26 North Carolina Emergency Management Association conference.

The FiberPlex-equipped van will go from audiovisual lighting and staging or FOH use in Atlanta and continue on into the emergency conference in Raleigh-Durham, where the same fiber-optic communication link will be used to demonstrate a 9-1-1 emergency simulation for more than 300 state emergency managers there.

“Anymore, it doesn’t matter what the application is or where it’s at. Everyone wants the same thing, more bandwidth. I can open up the back doors to the van, and in five minutes, I’ve connected a full audiovisual or emergency system – or both  — over a small fiber cable with bandwidth to spare,” said Kyle Rosenbloom, who, when he’s not talking with AV integrators and emergency managers, is behind the wheel of the production van as the Eastern Regional Representative for FiberPlex Technologies, a leading fiber optics equipment manufacturer.

Inside the van is a FiberPlex Live Production Toolbox with everything needed to easily connect remote cameras, microphones, closed-circuit TV cameras and other equipment over fiber optic communications regardless of media type or format. Included in the toolbox is FiberPlex’s LightViper fiber optic audio snake and WDM-16 active wave division multiplexer combining 16 optical channels, each at 3 Gb/s for transporting video, audio, lighting and control feeds onto one fiber pair.

As a result of multiplexing technology, optical fiber communications is not only easier to implement, but also more affordable than in previous years. “Optical fiber was cost-prohibitive just a few short years ago, but new technology from companies like FiberPlex is giving fiber an edge that other communication links can’t even come close to in terms of bandwidth and security properties,” commented Tim Hunnicutt with HWPco, which represents FiberPlex as a strategic partner.  Optical fiber cable has ten times the transference rate of copper cable at the high end and can transmit data error-free over greater distances by a 400:1 ratio. And unlike copper, optical fiber does not put out electromagnetic radiation and is therefore not susceptible to emitting data that can lead to security breaches.

“We are seeing a huge demand for more security and bandwidth, especially in the emergency field because of new interactive smart technology that is pushing out more data,” agreed Phyllis Kinard with Strategic Connections, a systems integrator headquartered in Raleigh specializing in low-voltage smart systems. Kinard said bi-directional, high-capacity optical fiber communications is critical for creating new interactive opportunities between emergency command centers and responders at the state, regional, or even global level during a catastrophic event.

The integrator will demonstrate during the North Carolina Emergency Management Association conference new interactive emergency applications into FiberPlex’s mobile production van, which is scheduled to stop in Memphis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Charlotte, Charleston, Ocala and other eastern cities before returning to Raleigh May 26 -28.

FiberPlex’s WDM-16 multiplexer uses interchangeable SFP/SFP+ modules for interfacing to a variety of gear and environments, including converting between media formats SD-SDI, HD-SDI, 3G-SDI, and 6G-SDI and for HDMI/DVI, 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet and MADI, as well as full duplex and BiDi optical.  FiberPlex makes fiber optic products and systems for government agencies as well as for houses of worship, corporate facilities, broadcast applications, and K-12 and higher education.

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